Rating: 2 Stars
Opening sentence: Tuesday was a fine California day, full of sunshine and promise, until Harry Lyon had to shoot someone at lunch.
I never know what I am going to get with Dean Koontz.
I have to admit I was taken in by the name of the book expecting a dragon in it, knowing how Koontz likes his paranormal elements, and was sadly disappointed. Reminder to self : do NOT judge a book by it’s cover or title.
This is more like a pass-time read, which is a shame because I know Koontz can and has produced much better. Maybe the reason for my disillusionment was that I am reading this book long after the time it was written in. The story makes constant references to how crazy the 90’s are, reading it in 2016 just makes me wonder when the real craziness will begin.
There are different points of view throughout the story, though the only fully developed personalities and inner narratives seem to come from the protagonist, Harry Lyon, and a dog.
The back story for each character, even the main ones, was short and felt a little lacking. Maybe that was part of the plan to keep the story moving quickly. The story has it’s moments but has a tendency to go from being exciting to just feeling drawn out. I finished the book in little more than two days. partly to find out how it ends and partly to get it over with.
Here is what I will say about the ending without giving anything away, it felt like an anti-climax. The build up of the danger and power of the antagonist felt like it called for a bigger showdown than the one served.
I don’t have any outright complaints about the story, considering the time it was written in, and yet I can’t help but feel a little unsatisfied with it. As a paranormal horror story, which is what it is, it gets a lower rating from me than it would have if it was just a simple thriller.
1. “These were the 1990’s, after all, an age of unreason if ever there had been one, when the bizarre was so common as to establish a new definition of normality” (pg.31)
2. “Only a sliver of blue sky remained to the east, fading as fast as hope usually did” (pg.42)
3. “Each survival was merely a short term triumph. In the end, oblivion for everyone. And in the meantime, nothing but pain.” (pg.89)
4. “These are the nineties, Connie. The premillenium cotillion, the new Dark Ages, when anything can happen and usually does, when the unthinkable isn’t only thinkable but accepted, when every miracle of science is matched by an act of human barbarity that hardly raises anyone’s eyebrow. Every brilliant technological achievement is countered by a thousand atrocities of human hatred and stupidity. For every scientist seeking a cure for Cancer there are five thousand thugs willing to hammer an old lady’s skull to applesauce just for the change in her purse.” (pg.122)